Ian’s Top Ten Tips
Ensure that all drains are covered by a grid cover. All grid covers over drains should be kept clear and free of debris, leaves, muck, food stuffs etc, enabling liquid to flow freely down the drain.
This sounds obvious but we probably attend one job a week where the route of the problem is a blocked grid cover.
Never put used ‘wipes’ down the toilet, even though it may say on the packaging that they are toilet disposable.
At least once a year clean out all gulleys. This will involve removing the grid covers and wearing rubber gloves, clean and remove the solid content that has built up. This is not a pleasant job!
Check troughing (gutters) for leaks. As water dripping down onto brick, stone work or glass can cause severe damage or permanent de-face over time.
If the property is connected up to a septic tank (not public sewer), usually in a rural location, all effluent discharged from house should be bio-degradable i.e. no wipes, sanitary towels, condoms or any other cotton or plastic derivative. All chemicals used i.e. washing powders and soap, should be eco-friendly. This is usually indicated on packaging. (Rule of thumb there is a picture of a dolphin in a circle). No bleach or disinfectant should be used, only eco friendly as detailed, as chemicals will kill the aerobic bacteria (these are the little organisms that break down the sewage in you septic tank). As this may result in the tank to stop working, which could be very costly to rectify. Because we all live in the real world we recommend to have the tank emptied once a year, to prevent long term problems building up.
If you have a slow to empty sink, bath or shower, possibly smelling as well, invariably the problem is due to poor installation, allowing grease, soap and hair to build up.
A good tip is to pour approximately one cup – half a pint of THIN bleach down the drain, usually last thing at night, taking all safety precautions recommended by the manufacturer. Then run through the next day with clean cold water and you will be amazed at the difference.
At least once a year check, clean and remove all silt deposits, moss etc from troughings , as all the rubbish causes the guttering to overflow and will ultimately will end up in the drains, causing blockages to occur.
Ensure that the toilet is flushing correctly, removing all solids with one flushing action. If there is a dual flush, ensure that on long flush the water is completely emptying from the cistern.
Periodically check all manholes (inspection chambers). Swill out and clean with water from a hose pipe. Clean the pipe to prevent a build up, swill the benching (sides) and walls of manhole to remove any obstructions. Check for any loose brick work, particularly just under the manhole lid seating. Remove any tree roots and check cement pointing. For good measure place a thin layer of grease around the lid seating, to prevent lid rusting down and create an air tight seal to prevent foul smells escaping.